Ole joyful's Christmas message

joyfulguyDecember 15, 2012

Greetings to all of you, relatives and valued friends,

I find that many of my concerns are as in earlier years: don't tell me that I'm in a rut (the difference between which and a grave is claimed to be mainly length).

It's been nearly eight years at Uncle Stuart's farm and I figure that I can stay here as long as I can drive: hitchhiking 15 km (10 mi) to the village and 25km (16 mi) to the city in winter isn't fun. I've said for some time that several singles, especially seniors sharing housing makes a lot of sense: shared talk helps keep Alzheimers at bay; shared chores are much less onerous; the inmates would eat better; triaged care is available if one can call, and there's major financial savings (more than enough to have a housekeeper).

Landlord ploughed largest garden ever, over 3/4 mile of row ... but peas grew spottily, no cauliflower, some blight of melons, squash. Take to 2 churches: I sang in Lambeth United Church choir before my voice changed. I ask increased contribution there, also to social agencies, son and landlord ... and I mainly eat what's left!

Rather spotty success at cutting down on possessions, which occupy garage, barn and shed. Probably many seniors, having cleared many possessions during downsizing, would appreciate visits from family, friends rather than more things. Some friends say that there seem to be more obituaries ... but I laugh and say to be glad that they can ... for one of these days they won't be able to ... when it's their turn! Isn't it rather strange ... that Christians tell of what a great place Heaven is ... but few appear to be in any hurry to get there?!

My little old Mazda, over 1/4 my age, didn't quite make age 25 (200kmi) before being driven to the scrapyard. Now have an '05 Chevy Cobalt, about 100k km (62k mi) ... but when I turn off key to coast, to a traffic signal, or downhill, if no car behind, the lying speedometer tells me that I'm not moving! Does give me extra info: door open, temp, "Ice possible", fuel low, etc.

Here's a passion for you! Seventy years ago they had one-horse drawn covered wagons hauling bread, milk and ice in the city, to put into ice boxes in kitchens (we farmers kept perishables in a pan of cold water in the basement). Sixty years ago, they started to build fridges; of the ones built 50 years ago, many lasted for 40 years. The ones built today last for about 10 years - and at that point in my story, many add the same 3-word contribution: "If you're lucky!"! Modern engineers are stupider, it appears (or builders greedier?). Think of the precious energy, the pollution and contribution to global warming of the digging of ore, smelting, shaping and assembly (with a bunch of petroleum-sourced plastic added) and all of the interim hauling to get it to retailers ... and recycle when it dies: build it better initially!! (I live close to Toronto's garbage dump).

No one that I know will put a noose around his/her own neck ... but living without a financial cushion in case of income loss is about equal - and if your hands are free, you can remove a rope noose quickly and easily: not so a financial noose. Being required to make a number of payments with no cushion gets scarey when one's laid off: losing a car, home, etc. due to non-payment really hurts. Plus, few wage increases recently ... but prices keep increasing. Tell friends that you care about ... to build a financial cushion: avoid the noose (says this old financial advisor)! And plan/fund ahead for retirement: start early.

No Georgia/Niagara peach has ever appeared in your upraised hand out of thin air (unless you're standing under a peach tree): it takes roots, trunk, branches and leaves to develop nutrients and water to make one. "Peach" and "peace" have only the final letter variant. The young folks can hold up their fingers in the shape of a "V" all they like ... but peace is costly! Lacking the roots of justice, trunk of compassion, branches of cooperation and leaves of kindness - Peace just ain't gonna happen!

I'm thankful to be enjoying good health - on three pills: the Warfarin for the clots, the diuretic for the varicose veins and a recent addition of glucosamine sulphate to enhance cartilage to deal with the arthritis. I find that I can�t remember words, or names, when I need them. And when some of my younger friends make similar complaints ... I assure them that it gets worse with advancing age. Doc said he plans to retire in 20013 ... within 10 min. ... in 2014 ... I asked him if he was sure that he had it all together. Next visit I told him to be sure to tell me which ... as I figured that I'd have to die first! WHY'S THAT? You know how hard it is to find a doc, these days!

I hope that this year has brought the fulfillment of some of your worthwhile dreams ... and that the new year will bring some more ... plus the envisioning of some new ones.

ole joyful

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What a lovely letter, OJ! It's so nice to see you are plugging along and staying nice and busy--we should all be so lucky to be that busy at your age! I hope you don't stint on providing for yourself--especially when it comes to your health. I sure do appreciate your update and wish you a wonderful Christmas and good health and happiness in the New Year. I hope you get to see your kiddies too!

    Bookmark   December 15, 2012 at 5:14PM
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Yes, it is nice to see you are up and around and keeping busy. Health is important as keeping in touch with friends and relatives. Sometimes we do better when we are living in something like assited living homes (that is what they call them in ND) because we keep active, eat better and are more active. I do hope your Dr. won't retire yet and you will have a great garden next year
Merry Christmas (hope you get to church ok) and Happy New Year.
Marie, from ND

    Bookmark   December 15, 2012 at 8:14PM
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O.J., I'm up there in years, too. The world has changed considerably since our young, young years and I'm not convinced it's all for the better. Glad I was born when I was born and lived the life I lived. I don't envy this younger generation. Technology is moving so quickly....it's fascinating but not without its drawbacks. Families live all over the country and while it's nice they can Skype, there's nothing like a visit in the flesh. That's life. Hope you have a very Merry Christmas. It was a "joy" to hear from you.

    Bookmark   December 15, 2012 at 9:34PM
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Holiday Blessings, Ed! You are a mighty special person.

    Bookmark   December 15, 2012 at 11:19PM
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I said that I had the best Christmas gift, a week before last Friday.

As you know, daughter lived in Phoenix, her Signif. Other has started a motorcycle rental business in Cozumel Island off Mexico, so they're down there most of the time - can bunk with the folks who rent their place when they visit Phoenix.

There was a motorcycle convention in Toronto last weekend, so son and his S O and I all went down, had a good visit with daughter and her partner.

She'd sent me a baseball cap from their dealership last summer, and I said that I needed two heads when I went down ... the second to carry the cap that I received as part of the boodle when she flew me to AZ for my 80th birthday, a couple of years ago, logo was "Don't forget my senior discount".

Picked swiss chard to take to churches this morning, small, fresh beautiful leaves ... two or three commented on it. When one can pick garden vegetables in this latitude just after the middle of December ... it tells me that those who deny global warming are mistaken/(liars)!

Church had a Blue Service for folks who are sad, this afternoon ... one woman who'd recently lost her Mom was quite broken up: "She'd been there to hold me when I was born - I wanted to be there to hold her hand as she died".

That seems to be about it for now.

ole joyful

    Bookmark   December 16, 2012 at 7:00PM
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So much love expressed by you Joyful !!! thanks for being part of our lives

    Bookmark   December 16, 2012 at 10:42PM
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Good to hear from you,OJ, your sense of humor is very much intact!

    Bookmark   December 17, 2012 at 9:57AM
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Merry Christmas!

    Bookmark   December 17, 2012 at 10:40AM
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Wishing you a very Merry Christmas. You are a real joy to all of us.

    Bookmark   December 17, 2012 at 4:50PM
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OJ, I guess you can tell we all love you. You are so wise and kind. Sorry about the Mazda, but happy you had a nice visit with your children. Have the happiest Christmas! Sending you hugs (((OJ)))

    Bookmark   December 17, 2012 at 6:39PM
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Lifting my mug of hot apple cider to ya Joyful! Hoping your Christmas and New Year are unbeatable!

    Bookmark   December 18, 2012 at 10:10PM
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Merry Christmas Ed, thanks for being you. I always enjoy your post so much.

    Bookmark   December 19, 2012 at 9:58AM
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Merry Christmas Ed, and a very happy and healthy 2013...always love reading your posts!


    Bookmark   December 19, 2012 at 3:55PM
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Thank you, Ed, for another great post. May you have another blessed and healthy year. And KEEP POSTING! Hugs

    Bookmark   December 20, 2012 at 1:22AM
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Amazing Aunt Audrey

Merry Christmas Ed. You are a blessing to us all.

    Bookmark   December 20, 2012 at 1:46AM
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Merry Christmas Ed!

    Bookmark   December 20, 2012 at 9:06AM
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Thanks, everyone.

It is a great old life, isn't it?

ole joyful

    Bookmark   December 20, 2012 at 1:33PM
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Yes it is, OJ! For most of us, that is. Merry Christmas to you!

    Bookmark   December 20, 2012 at 1:47PM
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Just spent part of the afternoon arranging with stockbroker to make a gift of stocks that have gone up in value to a major charity, to distribute to a number of others.

When I cash the stock, put the proceeds in the bank and write cheques to the charities, come tax time I have to deduct the purchase price from the sale price and pay income tax at regular rate on half of the difference.

But when I donate them to a charity, I avoid paying income tax on the capital gain.

For the past couple of years I've been able to avoid federal income tax ... largely by gifts to charities, churches and making political contributions.

We had both federal and provincial elections last year, so larger political contributions, and larger charitable contributions, helped avoid tax on an increase in income, last year.

I like them apples better!

ole joyful.

    Bookmark   December 21, 2012 at 7:55PM
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Merry Christmas OJ.


    Bookmark   December 21, 2012 at 8:15PM
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Love you, Ed. Love your postings! May you have terrific 2103!

    Bookmark   December 22, 2012 at 1:28AM
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A very Merry Christmas to you, and may you have many more healthy ones ahead of you.

    Bookmark   December 22, 2012 at 12:22PM
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You are one heck of a guy O.J. I love reading you letters as they show the beautiful heart and soul of you. You've certainly done your best, you radiate with humor and joy.

    Bookmark   December 22, 2012 at 12:52PM
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Merry Christmas Ole joyful.

    Bookmark   December 23, 2012 at 11:41AM
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